Thursday, December 29, 2005

What's the future of home video look like?

"You know, by the time (insert studio name here) gets to the (insert number higher than 10)th season of (insert TV show title here), DVD will be long dead."

For long-running TV shows that aren't getting out as quickly as fans would like (The Simpsons, ER, Dallas, Married...with Children, Happy Days, Murder She Wrote, etc.), we keep hearing the above or something very similar to it. Frankly, I'm not so sure the studios are worried about that.

Something "better than DVD" will come along, and that's a fact. We're already close to a launch of SOME hi-def disc format. Either Blu-ray or HD-DVD (or both) will hit the market next year, and it's a cinch that there will be studio support for one or both of these formats. Blu-ray seems to have the advantage, but frankly it's anyone's guess which of these (if either) will be successful.

But don't you think that a studio will get to the point of releasing one of those formats (let's say it's Blu-ray, just to pick one for this example) and start releasing new films and TV-DVDs in both "old" DVD and "new" Blu-ray? And then, as seasons 8 and 9 (for example) of a show come out in both formats, the studio will probably make an effort to back-fill releases of the previous seasons in the new (Blu-ray, in our example) format? Then, by the time the studio finishes releasing all season sets of a show to bring it "current" (or to its end, if it's a show that's not still airing), then those final releases may be Blu-ray only.

I don't think the studios are having any heartburn over the idea of not finishing off a series before the DVD format is made obsolete. I think they will happily offer the double-dip of selling you the old seasons of the show in the new disc format, whatever it turns out to be.

And who's to say that DVD will "die out" just as soon as the new formats make the scene? VHS is still around a little bit, after all (hard to find, but studios are still making VHS releases of new films like Zathura and The Legend of Zorro). Don't be in a rush to write DVD's obituary just yet!

In fact, my opinion is that neither Blu-ray nor HD-DVD will win a giant amount of support. I think the studios have bickered so much and jockeyed for position and made such a mess of this that one format (again, I think it will be Blu-ray) will "win" the battle, but never be more than a niche product for high-end home video fans like LaserDisc was. By the time the mass market is ready to embrace another format, it will probably something that is a quantum leap better, like HVD (Holographic Video Disc) is set to be.

If you haven't heard of that, by the way, and want to see a pic of one, click here. As one of the companies involved in HVD likes to say, "Imagine holding 100 movies in the palm of your hand". Yep, it stores THAT much. In hi-def. It's VERY cool...and the potential blows away Blu-ray and HD-DVD. And it's getting ready to head to market soon. WikiPedia has a good summary of the format.


Besides, the studios are busy exploring the options of sending you episodes for a buck or two right to your cellphone or Video IPod or whatever. I dunno about this as the future of home video, though. Like "VOD" (video on demand), it basically comes down to you can only order what they offer, and if they stop offering it you can't get it "used". Unlike a disc, it can't be transferred to another device (so what happens if your device is lost or broken?). And, as Scott Hettrick of Video Business pointed out in a recent editorial, how many consumers will be convinced to pay for that when they can just TiVo their episodes and transfer them to a portable device later? Besides, I like to build my library of discs and be able to play whatever I feel like putting my hands on at any given time...and I know a lot of you feel the same way.

Or do I? How DO you all feel about the future of home video? Are you into Video IPod or cellphone-delivered episodes? Do you think Blu-ray will beat HD-DVD, or is HD-DVD superior and we just don't know it yet? Will you even bother to upgrade away from DVD? Does HVD intrigue you? Tell us what you think, we're interested! Why? Well, we can't call it "TVShowsOnDVD" forever, can we?

...Or can we?

36 Comments:

At December 30, 2005 10:01 AM, Anonymous Leah said...

I think I will probably stick with dvds until there is a clear winner between bluray and hddvd. I really don't care which one wins out. But really, I don't wanna have to buy all my my shows again in a new format.

My guess is even after the new format comes out, that dvd sill still be around for quite a while.

 
At December 30, 2005 3:55 PM, Blogger peggy said...

Am I the only person over 40 that isn't into this ipod craze or watching things on a cell phone? My son got an ipod for Christmas and he was watching music videos on it and I saw no joy in that at all. If I watching a tv show I want to watch it on a normal size tv. I am hoping there are enough people like me out there that we still have the choice of getting things on dvd. Once again showing my ignorance I am not really up on this Blu-ray/HD-DVD thing. I am use to collecting shows on vhs so when they come out on just regular dvd that quality really impresses me. Once again I hope there are enough people like me out there that just want things on regular dvd.

 
At December 30, 2005 8:16 PM, Blogger Phoenician said...

Same here. I think it'll be a while before we see DVD's successor accepted by the world. Right now, DVD is truly the best way in world.

I'm satisfied in the time I live in. And trust me, I like my favorite shows on Big Ol' TV Screens as well.

 
At December 30, 2005 8:19 PM, Blogger Phoenician said...

Mind you, I didn't accept DVDs UNTIL I saw my favorite shows appear in DVD Sets.

And I held out on DVDs until 2003!

It's going to take something more creative and impressive for me to convert again.

 
At December 31, 2005 9:16 AM, Blogger The Thomas Montalto Blog said...

I have to agree, it took me a while to get a DVD Player. What held me back the longest was thinking "Why in the world do i need a device just to play movies when I have a VCR that does both." Eventually, I gave in. What first made me cave was the idea of having extra's that were not on VHS :-) Then wrestling started being released, and then TV Shows!

I have to admit, I didn't hold off on a DVD-R. From the time I first saw a DVD Player, I said to myself I want one of those that records. So when they did, I didn't care how much it cost, that I had to have right away.

I love DVD now and don't see it going anywhere for a long time. And hopefully(I think it is) Blu Ray, and HD DVD should be able to play DVD's so I don't see a problem with any of my collections. ANd quite honestly, I saw forget those two, HVD sounds the way to go! As far as needing it right away, I don't have a HD TV, yet.

Just another note, this was my favorite blog post thus far and I loved reading what you had to say about it.

 
At December 31, 2005 1:10 PM, Blogger CrochetOwl said...

I for one have no interest in either the bluray or hddvd. I have sent years upgrading my videos (and laserdiscs) to DVD and even transferring them to DVD. I am even nearing the point that I will be tapeless by the end of 2006! That is a lot of time and money spent in doing so. The quality of DVDs as they are now are just fine for me. It's like the push for HDTV - sure the picture might be great but there is nothing wrong with non-HDTV.

Unless there is a major leap in technology (like the HVD) why fix something that is not broke. The current DVDs are not like the BetaTapes. They still have quite a bit of longevity in them and I am here for the long haul with them.

 
At December 31, 2005 3:19 PM, Blogger DaveP said...

I’m a fairly consistent early adopter. But still, I need to be sold on a new technology; if I’m going to start signing over part of every paycheck to a new medium, I need to see the advantage. I got into Laserdisc because at the time it was the only format that offered widescreen on most titles. True, each movie was $35 - $110 (and on the low end of that scale we couldn’t do things like freeze frame), but such was my mania for widescreen. DVD was a major jump forward with better image quality, more bonus features, and new possibilities like multiple camera angles. Smaller disc size and considerably lower prices cinched the deal.

I love DVD, and spend enough on it each month that I should be able to list the format as a dependent on my taxes. The DVD, or something very close to it, will be around a good long time, at least as long as VHS, I think. But I believe the long term future of video viewed in the home is in downloaded files, like iTunes/iPod is doing now. When I first heard about the video iPod, it wasn’t the hardware that excited me; it was the information infrastructure that was being put in place behind it. The ability to legally download new network TV shows, commercial free, the day after they originally air just blows me away. This is the beginning of the end of scheduled television. And that’s huge, because when shows no longer live and die largely based on their timeslot, quality shows like “Firefly” and “Wonderfalls” may stand a better chance to produce more episodes and more fully tell their stories.

This concept beats Tivo in one very significant way. The viewer doesn’t need to plan in advance to record/obtain a show. Maybe it’s a new show, but you first hear about it five weeks into its run. For most shows today, you’ll wait for a repeat here or there, wait a year or more for a full season DVD set, or try to scratch up recordings from friends. In a worst-case scenario you might wait five years for it to hit syndication. But in the downloadable scenario, you can go to the appropriate online store, pay a couple of bucks and determine whether the show is worth your continued attention. If it is, you can invest in bringing yourself current. If not, you’re not out much money.

I’ve downloaded three shows so far, two of “Lost” and one of “Commander in Chief”. In all cases these were episodes I failed to see or record until their time had passed. But they were waiting patiently for me online. And I don’t even have an iPod. I watch them on my big screen laptop, which comes close to the 4:3 viewing area of my 26” HDTV. And with a little bit of cabling, I could put it on my TV screen.

A drawback is that (today) the resolution isn’t what we DVD fans would hope for. The image data is scaled for the small iPod screen, and looks a bit fuzzy on a larger screen size. But honestly, it looks better than what you’re probably imagining.

The important thing here is to not get too wrapped up in the hardware. Recognize that nothing insurmountable is stopping higher resolutions for larger screens. The two major obstacles are connection speed and storage space. Larger, clearer pictures will be bigger files, absent some clever, new compression schemes. I don’t know how long it might take to download a full 44-minute show on a dial-up connection, but my broadband cable connection gets it for me in about 12 minutes (and that’s through a wireless LAN, which certainly slows things down). The size of available hard drives continues to go up at a good pace, so I’m not too worried there.

All that said, let me repeat that I love DVD. The new disc formats will have to sell me on why they are better and hit a price point that I’m comfortable with. I love having an array of DVD boxes on my shelves, but I suspect those of us here are among the last generation that will expect that things we buy should be tangible items we can hold in our hands and put on our shelves. The kids who are already the next wave of consumers are going to be a lot more comfortable with an entire season of a show that only exists on a hard drive. I think there’s something lost, but definitely something gained as well.

 
At December 31, 2005 7:34 PM, Anonymous jsummers said...

By the time that you reach 40 and can start to afford some of these luxuries, you also start to enter the realm of diminishing returns in regards to your own physical limitations. Eyesight starts to dwendle and hearing begins to falter. A better picture or sound becomes less of a key factor. Personally, I think that the remastered movies and television programs on DVD (particularly in 5.1. surround sound) are about as good as my senses can appreciate at this point in time and they're not going to get any sharper over the years to come. Frankly, I don't get the whole portability thing either. Are we preparing to become a nomadic society and I haven't heard about it?

 
At January 01, 2006 6:40 AM, Blogger Dave Lambert said...

I want to respond to a few things in the comments real quick.

re: "By the time that you reach 40 and can start to afford some of these luxuries, you also start to enter the realm of diminishing returns in regards to your own physical limitations. Eyesight starts to dwendle and hearing begins to falter. A better picture or sound becomes less of a key factor."

Be careful. I'm 40. :)

My eyesight and hearing are the same today (not terrific: I've always had diminished hearing in one ear and my eyes have had astigmatism for 20 years) as they were in college. Yet a better picture and better sound is always something I desire in any DVD purchase, film or TV-DVD.

I'm going to post an e-mail later today from a highly vision-impaired TVShowsOnDVD reader who explains why better quality is important to him.


re: "Personally, I think that the remastered movies and television programs on DVD (particularly in 5.1. surround sound) are about as good as my senses can appreciate at this point in time and they're not going to get any sharper over the years to come."

Funny, I heard the same comments about VHS: that the quality on tape was about as good as most people could ever appreciate. I think there is always room for improvement, and that it's hard to appreciate a Audio/Video quality difference with a minute-or-so demonstration in a retail or consumer show setting. The differences tend to be noticed when you get used to the higher quality for a while (even a short while), and then you go look at something in the old format with the lesser quality and you go, "Man, how did I ever put up with this?"


re: "Frankly, I don't get the whole portability thing either. Are we preparing to become a nomadic society and I haven't heard about it?"

Now THAT I agree with. But here's a thought for you: a friend of mine was downtown a few months ago and saw some homeless people who lived out of some shelters and the like. They didn't have many possesions. But they did have a PSP they shared as their "entertainment system".

My main thing about the portability craze is to question why people would be satisfied with using the small screen as the source of their entertainment. Now, I don't need a 100" screen or anything. I have a nice-sized HDTV system in the main room, a good-size regular TV in the bedroom, but in here with the computer I have an 18" hooked up to a DVD player and a 13" with rabbit-ears only across the room to have the networks on as background noise while I'm busy typing up TVShowsOnDVD stuff. But I won't use a 4" or smaller screen as my "standard" method of viewing...no dice. Which leads to this:


re: "But I believe the long term future of video viewed in the home is in downloaded files, like iTunes/iPod is doing now. When I first heard about the video iPod, it wasn’t the hardware that excited me; it was the information infrastructure that was being put in place behind it. The ability to legally download new network TV shows, commercial free, the day after they originally air just blows me away...I’ve downloaded three shows so far, two of “Lost” and one of “Commander in Chief”. In all cases these were episodes I failed to see or record until their time had passed. But they were waiting patiently for me online. And I don’t even have an iPod. I watch them on my big screen laptop, which comes close to the 4:3 viewing area of my 26” HDTV."

Where to start with this? Okay, let's address the size issue. First off, TVShowsOnDVD doesn't pay my bills, so I have a full-time job by day as a system analyst at a laptop computer repair center...the national depot for warranty (and non-) for big brands like IBM, Dell, HP, Sony, and Alienware. I see laptops of all sizes, but I don't recall ever seeing one with a screen as big as you describe ("comes close to the 4:3 viewing area of my 26” HDTV"). Do you mind sharing which brand and model that is? Don't take this as disbelief, mind you; I just want to check that sucker out! If it's a model we service but I just haven't noticed because I'm up in the admin area, then I'd like to walk out on the repair floor, find one and get a gander at it. If it's a brand we don't cover, then I'll just find one at the store and take a look at it there. Sounds sweet!

Still, as Peggy says above, "If I('m) watching a tv show I want to watch it on a normal size tv." Laptop computer screens are okay as a stand-in when you're on the go, and portable DVD players, PSPs and Video iPod screens...well, ditto. But I'd rather begin with the sizes that are normally associated with the larger laptop screens (13", 14", 15") and work my way up from there.

Now, getting back to the downloadable aspect: So those episodes were waiting patiently for you...now. Aren't you worried that if we go to ANY sort of "Video On Demand" model (iPod based or cable based or internet based, whatever), that all of us buyers will have an issue of being at the mercy of what items the sellers are willing to put on the VOD delivery system? I.e., if they decide not to offer it, we're screwed...even if they offered it in the past. At retail, with physical media, we're sort of in that situation now, with consumers being at the mercy of "we can't buy it if they don't want to sell it". But once a studio makes a release of a controversial item (let's say, Disney's Song Of The South as an example...let's pretend it just came out on DVD for the first time last week, which it didn't), then folks who want it can buy it and have it to keep forever the second it is on the market. If changing public values force it off the market months or even weeks later, well then at least the genie is out of the bottle and there are copies to be found on some obscure mom-and-pop store shelf somewhere, or at the used markets, on eBay, etc. But if it's a VOD delivery model, and the item is withdrawn from download, then that's that and you can't get it.

An important thing to remember is that the downloadable episodes (and for that matter, downloadable music) may not be "expirable" now by and large, but the studios have it in mind that they can easily change their models so that what they let you download for $1 or $2 or whatever can be made to be "for a limited time", like a rental, and can expire and self-delete after so many days. Many studio execs want that to be the "permanent" VOD model.

I don't think too many of my DVDs (or music CDs for that matter) will ever expire (a.k.a., wear out) in my lifetime. [grin] Once I have it, it's mine, and they will have to come to my home Fahrenheit 451-style and pry them out of my cold, dead hands. :)

Hmmm, that last probably sounds more paranoid than I really am. I don't imagine such a scenario as that, but I can't stand the idea that today I can get episodes of The Simpsons in their OAR (Original Aspect Ratio) of 1.33:1 fullscreen, but in the future of a VOD-only delivery system some fool exec somewhere may decide that since all TVs are now widescreen and since all consumers want their screens "filled up", then all episodes of The Simpsons should be only made available with the tops and bottoms cut off ("crop & chop") into a false widescreen image "to fit better". Those of us who own the physical DVD media with Simpsons episodes in the proper video format will just sit back and laugh, eh?

Finally in response to this one, do you think that VOD will remain "commercial free"? We all thought that "commercials" would never come to movie theaters, after all, since we pay to see the feature. But they've certainly crept into the cinema with a vengeance. From time to time we even see advertisements (at least in the form of trailers) on DVDs. On DVD there are ways around them (push "menu", fast forward, skip, or the drastic action of hitting "stop" and then using your remote to start the DVD at a track # that begins the actual feature). But for VOD, there will be no way to avoid them, eh?


re: "I have s(p)ent years upgrading my videos (and laserdiscs) to DVD and even transferring them to DVD. I am even nearing the point that I will be tapeless by the end of 2006! That is a lot of time and money spent in doing so."

I wonder if the studios think about the consumer investment in DVD along these lines. It's not just money, it's time. And it's tiring to even think about switching formats again so soon. But what the studios I think are expecting is that folk will buy a new system, like a Blu-ray (and maybe what they'll buy is a PlayStation 3, which will have the Blu-ray drive in it and can play Blu-ray movies), and then as long as they have one that can play the old DVDs then they will be satisfied in just getting their new releases of new films and TV shows in the Blu-ray format. Then the studios will leak out their new hi-def super duper editions of the big beloved films like Star Wars, Indy Jones, Lord of the Rings, Jaws, etc. and hope folk want to get the Blu-ray versions of those...especially if they find something new and interesting to put on there (original film edits of the original Star Wars trilogy, anyone?).

Also, the studios and video retail industry are caught up right now in talking about how DVD prices came to be "undervalued" too fast, and how it should NOT be cheaper to buy a new film like Dark Water at Best Buy or Wal-Mart or Target for around $15-$17, cheaper than the cinema-going experience. Studios feel that this is the reason for losing money at the box office, and retailers are mad at the low margins on their DVD sales. Expect the new formats to be priced "more appropriately" in the eyes of these folk...higher than DVD currently is.


re: "I love DVD, and spend enough on it each month that I should be able to list the format as a dependent on my taxes." I hear ya!


re: "Just another note, this was my favorite blog post thus far and I loved reading what you had to say about it." Thank you! I hope my reactions just given are well received; I'm not trying to belittle anyone's opinions, I want you to know. I just want to keep the debate going with interested parties and get some more thoughts and reactions. I don't know if anyone at any studio is reading this, but it can't hurt to get this kind of thinking out there on the internet so that word can get around as to what consumer opinion is about the changes studios seem to be eager for.

 
At January 01, 2006 2:26 PM, Anonymous DaveP said...

Thanks for your well-considered responses, Dave. A back and forth exchange like this is a blog at its best.

My laptop isn’t as big as I probably made it sound; it’s a Dell Inspiron 9300 with a 17” screen. You’ve probably seen them in your work. It’s a nice machine, but only vaguely portable. When I said it wasn’t much smaller than the 26” HDTV, I’m taking into account distance I sit from the screen. For me, screen size isn’t so much screen inches as percent of my field of view that’s filled (without sitting too ridiculously close). I sit about 8 feet from my 26” screen in my living room. When I watched a downloaded show this weekend, I put the computer on my coffee table, about half that distance away from me. So there’s comparability in field of view.

As for changes to the nature of downloads that would add commercials or make the content expire, if the powers that be do that, then I’m taking back every nice thing I said about them. I admit, adding commercials is more likely than not, given what we’ve seen in the past. If that happens I’d definitely become less enthusiastic about the download format. I draw the line at expiring content. I’m not interested in supporting the second coming of DIVX.

Regarding availability of “out-of-print” shows, this is a valid concern. I’m hoping that it will be lower cost to put files on a server than to manufacture DVDs and that this will translate to equal or greater availability of content. That may be a naive hope.

I definitely hear what you’re saying about content being changed with new format releases. I still have my Laserdisc box set of the original “Star Wars” trilogy, because it contains good quality, widescreen versions of the pre-Special Edition films.

I should also say that I have no experience with Video on Demand as supplied by cable companies, so I’m basing my comments entirely on the iTunes model.

Great topic!

 
At January 01, 2006 9:46 PM, Blogger Dave Lambert said...

Hey, earlier today I posted some comments (okay, a LOT of them) and I promised that I would return later today and relay some comments from a vision-impaired reader. I'm back with it.

Readers here who also read and post at the Home Theater Forum may be a bit surprised to know that the person I'm speaking of is Casey Trowbridge. Casey has been a supporter of TVShowsOnDVD for years, and regular writes in to Gord and myself, and posts at the HTF with his thoughts and opinions about things. As I've told him, he's one of my favorite posters because of his careful thought and insights. And he's not afraid to disagree with us (or anyone else) and be just blatant about it, without getting rude like you see so often online (and of which I'm probably guilty of myself at times...sorry to anyone I've every done that to!).

Anyway, I've never considered that Casey might not be able to see as well as the rest of us. But I found out otherwise in the past few days, due to Casey's response to my original blog post for this particular subject. As you can tell from his writing, it does nothing to diminish his enjoyment of TV-on-DVD.

So I will just convey Casey's e-mail to me without further delay, as it speaks for itself. I have combined portions of a second e-mail into that of the main one, for clarity's sake, and edited the whole thing a bit to streamline the info to just the main points of the discussion. For example, I am positive that Casey is very fond of his companion guide dog, Ginny, and the software Casey uses to interface with his computers is very impressive sounding...but it's not entirely on topic here so I hope that noone minds that I trimmed out parts like that. I've already told Casey how much I admire that he just takes it as it is and doesn't worry about it, making his way through life using his gifts and not worrying about what he does not have. I have relatives, friends, and - to a smaller degree - a wife and son who know what it is like to overcome birth anomalies. Like them, I admire Casey for just dealing with it and not asking for any special favors.

Here are his comments about the topic at hand, with just enough discussion of his situation to make it clear how one affects the other:


Hey Dave:

I wanted to let you know that I've been reading your blog since its inception. Unfortunately, I can't leave comments because my vision makes it hard for me to work with the word verification and the software that I use to navigate the internet, which reads things back to me does not read back to me the word that needs to be entered into the field.

You probably didn't know about my vision problems. I have mentioned them only a couple of times on the home theater forum, and not necessarily in a thread you might have seen. How much can I see? Uh, not much. This used to be an easier question to answer, but I lost a fair amount of vision when I was in 7th/8th grades, I'm 24 now so it would've been maybe 11 years ago or so. I was born with limited vision in my left eye and a right eye that never even developed. As for what I can see, I can see well enough to sort my laundry in to lights and darks. I used to be able to read large print, and see a television picture clearly at certain distances but not for years. A reason was never determined as to why I lost more vision when I was in Junior high.

So if I can't see how can I navigate a DVD menu? The short answer is that I memorize it. The longer answer is that sometimes I do have trouble, especially when it comes to navigating the menus looking for extras. Its easy to find a play all button at the top of a menu or even at the bottom. It can be tricky to find an audio commentary for something if there is no way to flip to it using an audio button. This actually is a big reason I'm a proponent of the play all feature, and don't necessarily care for menus that are too clever for their own good.

Why would I take a DVD over a VHS tape if I can't see the upgrade in picture quality? Several reasons: I hate rewinding tapes, tapes take up more space, and while it may be true that I'll never know the joy of a crystal clear digital transfer, I do not live in a world of blind individuals. All of my friends and family are sited for the most part. This would also be why my TV is a bigger screen than any of my friends or family and why I would have 0 problem upgrading to a new HD-set and a high definition video format when finances and such allowed, not for my benefit so much as those I keep in my company.

Getting to your field of TV Shows on DVD, I actually think that my preference to TSoD as opposed to film on DVD is partially related to my blindness. I actually just had a talk with a friend about this idea, even just a few hours ago. TV shows tend to be more dialog centered than films. Even a typical science fiction TV show has more dialog than a Sci-Fi film. This would also explain why most of my TV on DVD is comedy where jokes are recited. Site gags go over my head of course.

I am able to find a certain DVD in my collection by keeping a certain order. Its funny because earlier this year I thought I had lost a disc from Seinfeld seasons 1 & 2. It was misplaced and I had people helping me look for it in my parents house and my apartment. I thought hope of finding it was lost, but what had ended up happening was that the disc had just got put in the wrong book and was actually put in face down, not by me, by my sited sister mind you.


Anyway, aside from telling you that I've enjoyed the blog, and hoping you'd pass that along to Gord, I am writing in response to your most recent post.

1. I think that for the foreseeable future, DVD will remain the dominant format. I say this because for many, the only way they will upgrade to something newer is if the increase in quality is so dramatic. This is why I think that the CD has such good staying power and hasn't been supplanted by either DVDA or SACD and I don't know that anything will come along to change that anytime soon.

Plus, I think that the fact that blue ray/HD-DVD are coming to the market so soon after DVD is actually something that will work against those formats. DVD is still very new to a lot of people and they won't be so quick to replace it with something even newer. Just look at how long VHS was around before DVD was introduced to the market. Going from DVD to HD-DVD for some people would like buying a new car one year, and then upgrading it the very next. Maybe that's a little unfair, but people do have a considerable amount of time/money invested into the DVD format, some of whom for as few as 2 or 3 years, maybe even less time than that and they're not going to be so quick to go out and buy all new equipment.


2. As for which group will be more successful, HD-DVD does have one thing going for it, and that is the DVD association. Its right there in the name, it sounds familiar and so people may be interested because they are more familiar with that than anything called Blue Ray. However, more things seem to be working in the favor of the Blue Ray group and so ultimately I think its the format that will survive to become the new nitch format.

As for what will I choose? I will do nothing until the format war is over at the earliest and it will depend after that. HVD sounds awesome though, and that may just eventually be the powerhouse format.


3. Video on Demand. I'm sure there is something to be said for the convenience behind it. You could bring a movie in to your home without ever having to leave it. For me though, part of the fun is the hunt. Part of the fun is going to the stores and seeing what's on the shelves and perhaps making an impulse purchase or something like that. Plus, as you wrote there is something to be said to owning a physical copy of something. I think with VOD there are more questions than answers, and for people such as my parents who wouldn't have easy access to the type of internet connection necessary to download files that large in a speedy manner at this time, its not conceivably an option. I'll stick with my physical media for now.


Finally, and sorry to write so long, but this is a topic I've been interested in for awhile now. But, I think that home video is fine, it will begin to level off or stabilize in the coming years if it hasn't already and what we end up with at that point is something that will be around for awhile. Plus, I really don't think tvshowsonblueray.com has that great a ring to it.

 
At January 02, 2006 4:11 AM, Blogger Suzanne said...

I think there is some reason to worry about what you mentioned. I was buying the videos of Star Trek: Next Generation from Columbia House for years (after I had bought all of the original Trek). This was two episodes per month. They said they could no longer provide this one videotape in the set...like who wants to collect the whole set except for just ONE? I canceled it and refused to buy any more. But anyway, the point was that they ran out of the tapes and would not make any more because they so clearly think that no one wants to buy tapes any more. At least, not enough to justify the expense. Let's hope the same doesn't happen with DVD's!

 
At January 02, 2006 4:17 AM, Blogger Suzanne said...

PS I really love the idea of downloading TV shows on demand. I think it is the future of TV.
I still want to buy the DVD's for my favorite shows because I want the quality and the packaging; but being able to catch up on shows I missed online is fantastic (and way better to do it legally and pay a buck or two).

As for the video ipods--I want one really bad. First of all, I want to be able to have thousands of songs to listen to. Secondly, I think it would be cool to download shows to watch when I am traveling. I haven't seen how big the screen is, though, so that may not be as fun as I'd like. If only they'd make all my favorite soaps downloadable, I would love to watch them on an ipod.
I don't think the technology will be that successful until ALL the networks do it.

Suzanne Lanoue
The TV MegaSite
http://tvmegasite.net

 
At January 02, 2006 5:22 AM, Blogger J.D. said...

I'm a slow converter. I didn't jump into the CD thing until 1994 because I had to have some way to preview the CDs I was playing on air at work. It took me until 2002 or so (whenever Spider-Man was released on DVD) to upgrade from my clunky old VHS and legion of suspect quality third generation dub VHS tapes. I just wasn't convinced it was worth plunking down all the money just so I could have an extra 30 minute segment on my movie with some director talking about how he made the movie. I only signed on to HDTV this year, which I've been sort of but not really impressed with, and I'm having a hard time believing the FCC will actually be able to force a deadline for full HD conversion. Your average everyday common Joe just isn't all that interested and are still happy with their old 20 inch sets from 1973.

Of course, looking back, I wouldn't return to any of those older formats for anything. The point is, when I was using those old formats I had no idea what I was missing, and the marketing didn't really leave me with the feeling that I was gaining a whole lot. None of it was enough to convince me that I needed to pay premium for a new player and re-purchase my vast video library in a new format.

I don't see a whole lot of advantages to bluray at this point. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's going to end up working against the consumer, since undoubtedly the companies are going to try to implement newer copy-protections which will reduce compatibility with certain computers, much like the latest copy-protected CD debacle that trojanned up the computers they were played on.

I think Video on Demand will either be really good or extremely bad. If it's extremely bad, it will be because of embedded commercials, limited-time-use coding, and lack of availability. If it's really good, it will have to be transferrable to DVD-R and have a reasonable resolution and framerate. Of course there's already the illegitimate BitTorrent thing that I'm not going to mention (but that's pretty handy) but that's another topic. If we're to compare it to iTunes or other mp3 commercial distribution models that are current, we're likely as not going to see it be only moderately successful, and it will service only the casual user. Hardcore mp3/music fans have difficulty with the time-expire or stream-only limitations of, for instance, Yahoo music, and let's face it, how many people are going to slap down 18 bucks for a CD that you can download free in 10 minutes from bittorrent or a file sharing service.

As for the iPod, it's great for music, but I'm not about to kill my eyes watching a postage stamp sized screen. A portable DVD player I can handle, but iPods and PSPs give me headaches. Don't even get me started on TV on cell phones...

Choices that studios have made for distribution haven't impressed me lately. They've consistently fallen behind the times, while the bootleggers have struck paydirt 99 percent of the time. So if they're going to sell me something, they better make it sparkle like diamonds!

 
At January 03, 2006 7:35 AM, Anonymous Bruce said...

Here's something I don't think many have considered: SOME TV SHOWS WILL LOOK WORSE ON HD.Most TV shows were not taped with HD in mind. This means that the directors, set designers, makeup people, etc. all took into account the low definition of SD. In HD, sets will look fake, the makeup will not be good enough, and many "flaws" will now be seen. This will destroy the illusion that you want to enjoy, not enhance it.

Motion pictures, which were filmed, and therefore always intended to be HD, will look better of course.

Have you noticed that even on regular DVD, you can see things on TV shows that you could not see on broadcast television or VHS? Booms, wires, tacky sets, etc. An extreme example are Gerry Anderson's "Supermarionation" series (e.g., Thunderbirds, Fireball XL-5). These actually look better on Laserdisc than on DVD where the visibility of the wires is so clear that it practically ruins the shows for me.
I think most TV shows will suffer from a similar effect once they are put on HD.

So hold on to those TV DVDs. They may turn out to be the most enjoyable--though not the highest resolution--editions of TV shows ever made.

 
At January 03, 2006 8:41 AM, Blogger Adam said...

Well, although HDDVD and Bluray sound exciting, I hope they do horrible. It's too soon. VHS was around how many years? - like 30? - before any other format was introduced. DVD is only like 10 years old, and it keeps getting better. I say they come back in like 20 or 30 years (OK, maybe less), with ONE FORMAT. I think that would be better.

In the meantime...you should change the name from "TV Shows on DVD" to "TV Shows on Disc!"

 
At January 03, 2006 8:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

just another way to get our money. i sure will not spend all my money again to buy everything again on blue ray or hd dvd... and why should i? as soon as i would have, there will be a new format announced to get more money from us... and i can throw all blue rays away again??? NOT with me !

 
At January 03, 2006 9:42 AM, Anonymous Leah said...

First of all, "quality shows like “Firefly” and “Wonderfalls” may stand a better chance to produce more episodes and more fully tell their stories"

YAY!! Wonderfalls, that show was AWESOME!!! And I just bought firefly on dvd friday. Hopefully, I'll like it as much as buffy.

An important thing to remember is that the downloadable episodes (and for that matter, downloadable music) may not be "expirable" now by and large, but the studios have it in mind that they can easily change their models so that what they let you download for $1 or $2 or whatever can be made to be "for a limited time", like a rental, and can expire and self-delete after so many days. Many studio execs want that to be the "permanent" VOD model.

I just thought I'd mention that this is already around. Starz has a downloadable movie thing through real player. I did it for a couple of months. You could download as moany movies as you wanted and watch them as many times as you wanted. But you couldn't put them on cd or dvd. They won't play anywhere else. Also, after a month or two, I think it depends on the movie how long, they delete themselves from your computer. I downloaded some movies while I was at school, and a couple of them, when I finally got around to watching them, wouldn't play anymore.

 
At January 03, 2006 9:57 AM, Anonymous Ken said...

I first used DVD's in college. About 6 years ago and thta was only because my computer had a DVD player and I had no TV/VCR. in contrast, my Father did not go over to DVD until he was given one for Christmas (unasked) by my sister (which ironically is the same reason he got a cell phone, an answering machine and an new computer in 96). I love DVD's, I buy more then I should, but I have a VHS/DVD combo machine. Frankly, I suspect that Blu- Ray will be the winner, but only because Sony is putting it in thier new Playstation system and gamers will be the group that will decide the fate of these two new genres, for they always want to be at the forefront of new technology (aka new games). In the DVD - TV world, will see that influence years down the road. However, HD-DVD does have one major advantage, it sounds a lot like HD-TV (which by the way, we all will be required to upgrade by the end of 2007 (unless John McCain suceeded in pushing this back a couple of years) according to Federal law (all tv shows must be broadcast in High Defination), thus all new TV shows post 2007/2008 will be in High Defination, thus HD-DVD might be smart and use that to their advantage IF they survive that long and Blu-Ray doesn't come up with some way to acount for that requirement.

Either way, I will not be buying either format until I see either who is actually the dominant winner OR they figure out a way to make each other work on each other (aka an HD-DVD working on a Blu-Ray machine) or it can definitively solve the current problem of DVD's not being able to record a TV show without buying "special" disc and "special" hardware

In terms of the other formats, aka I-pod, ect. I have no interest in them. I do not even have a laptop and I just got a cell phone last year (and then only because my job required it). I don't like being bombared by the entertainment industry 24 hrs a day, I want to choose what I watch when I watch it. So I miss the occasional new show, oh well or I can only watch one show and I like two that are on the same time, oh well. I do look forward to VHD or what-ever that holographic format is being called, but I think I can wait for that before changing over unless I have no other choice.

 
At January 03, 2006 10:03 AM, Anonymous Leah said...

I just found an article about VOD:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060103/ap_on_bi_ge/portable_movies;_ylt=AoooAySJ9cP0CA0AZw5apdes0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3b2NibDltBHNlYwM3MTY-

 
At January 03, 2006 11:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I"m 23. I plan to get a playstation 3 once they're financially available (for me, this means under $300, but I know plenty of spoiled brats who'll pay more). My playstation 2 was technically also my first and only DVD player, until computers came standard with DVD-ROM/Write drives. I still don't own a standalone DVD player. Since playstation 3's will be Blu-Ray compatible, I will probably look towards that format for titles. As others have mentioned... some programs were never filmed in HD, and therefore may not look as good if reformatted and remastered. But newer TV shows that were filmed in HD, particularly ones with more action and effects than simply acting and drama, would be of particular interest (i.e. I love Alias, Lost and 24, as well as Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy and Commander in Chief, but the first 3 shows would have more to offer in HD. Although... I would probably buy all of them available in HD, since they were all filmed that way. Older shows, like Golden Girls, Sliders, Pre-Digital-era-Simpsons are already getting standard DVD releases, and those will work fine. No way I'd rebuy those in HD/Blu-ray if they look fine - considering their age - in standard DVD.)

And Blu-ray isn't going to be an out-of-the-gate winner. This is going to be a slow trickle, starting mostly with gamers, geeks, gearheads, and ghastly wealthy (sometimes you need alliteration). I think most of the population agreed that DVD was a giant and necessary step up from VHS, and they've responded, but only as fast as they could, and it's been what, 8 years since the format was introduced? People are only now getting their libraries on DVD and liking them. I don't see many ditching their players for an HD or Blu ray because they'll probably be too expensive at first. Making each format compatible with standard DVD is the only reason either one has a shot. But I think Blu-Ray is going to be the clear winner here. The Video Game industry brings in more money per year than the Movie or the Music industry. Playstation 2's are the widest held consoles, and since Playstation 3's will be compatible with PS2 and some PS1 games... Sony is probably going to hold onto it's lead in that industry. It all depends on if they launch the PS3 correctly, by making enough product to meet demand at the start (but still not enough so there'll be ridiculous lines... this only causes more interest ;)) making them affordable enough that almost anyone could get one if they wanted (if they could find one for the first 3 months it'll be out), and the reason any new format of anything does well... If the advantages are great enough to warrant the change.

 
At January 03, 2006 11:43 AM, Blogger AW said...

Thank goodness someone gets it!

Neither of these High-Def formats is going to win. There is no reason for them to win, because the vast majority of the public doesn't want them.

The simple fact is, mass market consumers were just peachy-happy with the quality of VHS. It was the inconvenience that sold them on DVD - the bulk and fragility of VHS was as big a part of them embracing DVD as was the "gee-wow" picture quality.

The mass market is more than happy with the quality of DVD, and the majority don't even use it to it's full potential. Anamoaphoric wide-screen DVDs with a progressive-scan player on a widescreen TV look phenomenal, and most people are watching them on 4x3 monitors, non-anamophoric, with S-video at best. We've come a long way since 1997, baby.

As to TV on DVD, the only real advantage to existing libraries is going to be storage space. "Dallas" isn't going to look any better than it does on DVD now. And since it looks as if the studios are moving towards Blu-Ray, which will be much more expensive to produce discs for (HD-DVD can be made with slight modifications on DVD equipment, Blu-Ray will require entirely new plants), I think DVD will remain the standard for TV releases. Look at the recent Charmed sets - the latter two are barley an inch thick and hold 6 DVDs, so there isn't a tremendous space advantage into shoving them all onto one disc.

Whatever High-Def format wins, it's going to be a very long time before your average Wal-Mart stops carrying DVD in favor of it. Or even Best Buy. Most consumers have just settled into DVD, and simply won't repurchase entire collections, or new versions of current releases, unless there is some compelling reason to. So far, there isn't - and I completely agree that Laserdisc (a format I loved) is going to be the best comparison. Perhaps it will develop into a slightly larger market share, but there is little chance whatever High Def format comes out will dethrone DVD before the new format gets made obsolete itself.

 
At January 03, 2006 1:46 PM, Blogger charmedfan01 said...

i will always continue to buy dvds, i wont switch even if the formats do! lol. id have to buy my whole collection over in the new format if i did that would be way 2 much $$$. lol

 
At January 03, 2006 3:07 PM, Blogger Ray said...

I'm another one who will wait until the 'format war' is over (maybe if we all wait, niether HD-DVD or BluRay will never take off, and we can rest in present standard DVD security!)
I'm another one who still has Laserdiscs and once the HD disc market gets started, it too will be a nitch market very comparable.

Standard DVDs won't go away for along time. Look at people who watch i-pod and these UMD discs with video quality comparable to VHS. Most people don't notice any or much of a diference with HD, and many who do aren't really impressed enough to make the change.

I agree with the 'too much quality' even standard DVDS have. Now we can see very clearly Mary Ann's moustache on Gilligans Island, along with Gilligan's perpetual 5:00 shadow and the warts on the Skipper's neck. We see tons of grime, dirt and scratches in the house June Cleaver is 'always' cleaning!
Even on the "Wizard Of Oz"'s latest digitaly improved edition we see the 'graininess' of the film.

Should we finaly get to just one HD format in the future, I still won't jump at it! Though I would be more interested in the HVD, should some one not find a way to make format wars of that till then!

 
At January 03, 2006 4:07 PM, Blogger Melee said...

Well firstly having the prices higher on the new formats isn't going to help their cause any. Plus the new players are probably going to be a good 300 dollars. So why would any one want to change formats?

Simple, they wouldn't because the price of dvds has us spoiled and most people will just curl their nose up at the prices of the new formats and go with the dvd version as they always have.

Then there is the fact that studios are talking about releasing dvds at the same time the movies hit theatres. So if they eventually do this, which they more than likely will, dvds will look like a much better investment because buying one dvd will be much cheaper than taking the family to the theatre.

Then there is the fact that by the time the new formats establish themselves and dvds start to fade away, the hdv will be out. So what is the point to invest in either format, if their just going to be replaced faster than the dvd?

So sticking with dvds until the hdv comes out sounds like the best bet because it will save alot of money and the difference in quality will seem alot better if you skip the middle two formats all together.

Also it's really just a waste of space to have 3 different versions of one movie on the shelf and it seems kinda pointless.

 
At January 03, 2006 4:29 PM, Anonymous Paul said...

HD-DVD (and blu-ray) is going to be a mixed blessing for fans of TV content. And it all goes back to the source material. To use Star Trek as an example. An HD release of the original series from the 60s will look good because it was shot on 35mm film, from which you can make a nice HD master. Skip forward to the 21st century and Enterprise too will look great because it was filmed in HD. In the middle though, The Next Generation is going to look dreadful because of the lower quality recording method used during filming. OUr current DVDs already show the limitations of that particular TV show. Anything originally shot on 35mm for TV will do well in a remaster, mainly from the 60s, 70s. But once video arrived in the 80s, the source material will be of very poor quality for an HD transfer through until more care started to be taken in the mid-1990s. So it depends on when and how your favourite was produced. For many, your current DVDs will be as good as it gets.

 
At January 03, 2006 9:04 PM, Anonymous FlameStrike said...

Personally, I am not concerned with what format wins out as long as they're compatible with my current DVDs. If I can continue playing them and still get new stuff on the next successful format and play them in the same player, great. Regardless, I'm probably not upgrading until I have no choice.

As for cell phones and ipods, I don't have either of them, and I don't intend to get either of them, so I really don't care what they do with those as long as I can still buy a copy that I can take with me in tangible form and watch whenever I want. However, if these downloadable forms become dominant, I'm going move to the next best thing, the old-fashioned book.

 
At January 03, 2006 9:23 PM, Blogger J.D. said...

Picture/sound quality is not going to be the force that brings about the change. Many people I know still have tape decks in their cars and are quite happy with that. Laserdiscs are a perfect indication of that too, since they failed to capture the attention of most of America, and sold almost exclusively to the rabid video-philes and tech-heads. Higher prices didn't help laserdisc either. Shoot, just look back at the beginning of VCRs! Beta was ten times better quality than VHS, but we all know which format won the day.

The only way a mass shift is going to happen is when Wal-Mart starts phasing out its stock like they did in the mid-90's with audio cassettes and VHS. It may be artificial, but it's the only thing that kicked some people over to the new formats.

 
At January 03, 2006 10:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ihtapptePaul posted the following: The Next Generation is going to look dreadful because of the lower quality recording method used during filming.

Until the above was posted, Paul was pretty much right on the mark. He is correct in that early television was shot on film. Well, a lot of television, specifically scripted dramas are still shot on 35mm film. The problem isn't with how it was shot. The quality of shooting done for all of the Trek shows, starting with ST:TNG, has been excellent (I'm sure that the DP on each of the shows will take offense to what you said).

In the early years, the filmed TV shows were edited just like the movies, i.e., by editing the actual film. That all changed once video editing was more cost effective. The film that was shot was all converted to video, just like it is today.

The problem is with the final edited product. It is on NTSC video, which means it will not transfer and look at good as if it were shot/edited in HD. Keep in mind, the upconverters that are used today for turning NTSC SD material into HD are excellent (have you even seen SD material on an HD screen?). While the shows that were edited on tape cannot be shown in 16:9 (they better not try stupid tricks), they can be shown as 4:3 pillarboxed with the 16:9 screen.

I look at S-video output from my DVCAM deck of NTSC material and it looks horrible compared to the NTSC upconverted material.

I'll bet that Trek would look damn good in upconverted 1080i.

What would be perfect is if they went back to all of the old 35mm film elements and retransferred those to HD and then re-edited every episode, redoing all of the special effects in HD as well. What is that I hear, Hell will freeze over first? You are quite correct. They couldn't sell enough Blue-ray DVDs (HD-DVD, yuch) to cover the costs.

Any scripted drama that was shot on film and edited using video, that doesn't use special effects, could go back and have the film retransferred to HD and re-edited. It would take a while and the discs would cost a little more, but they would look great. I seriously doubt that anyone will do it.

BTW, even though Quantum Leap was done in the era where shows were edited on video, the producers and Universal wanted that show actually edited like a movie, including special effects. All off-line editing was done via video, the resulting EDL (edit decision list) was used to go back and edit the film. Why was this done? International sales. Back then, converting NTSC to PAL sucked (actually it still does). Transferring 24fps film to 25fps PAL film looked soooo much better.

Quantum Leap is one of the few era shows that could actually be converted to 720p/1080i pillar boxed HD and look great. Of course, unless they can keep all of the original music (Georgia on My Mind gone?) intact, it ain't worth transferring into HD.

As for the format war, blu-ray is my choice. Will I early adopt? Nope.

BTW, in today's mail I received two copies of a large format 16 page ad from Sony (inserted with Variety and Broadcasting & Cable). The inside front page listed the following movie titles: Resikdent Evil: Apocalypse, House of Flying Daggers, Hitch, Dracula (Anthony Hopkins version), Stealth, Into the Blue, The Fifth Element and The Guns of Navarone. No TV shows listed. No date given, but head on over to www.sonypictures.com/bluray (well maybe not, as of this writing, the page doesn't exist yet :-)

Sorry about being long winded, but when it comes to quality, I am very head strong. Just ask Gord when it comes to TV shows aired in widscreen but released in SD (with a lame excuse and/or horrible reason on the box). So, when someone says Trek wasn't shot with quality, I take offense :-)

Mr. Video
vidiot.com

 
At January 06, 2006 9:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well quite honestly, I'm sick and tired of format changes. First vinyl to CD and now VHS to DVD. No matter what you always end up with stuff on an outdated format that will never be released on the current format. I've hit my limit.

I hope and pray that HD-DVD and Blue-Ray go the way Laserdisc did. I don't think the average consumer is going to jump on the bandwagon. People are sick and tired of paying large amount of money on equipment and product just to stay current. I say here is a great time for the consumer to take back control of what's out there.

Stick with regular DVD. It's proven to be the best, easiest and cost efficient product in years.

 
At January 07, 2006 12:22 AM, Blogger Ray said...

Another proof HD-discs won't go mainstream.. When was the last time any one went to a movie theatre and said, "Wow! Look at that beautiful 70mm movie image!"

Most movies are still recorded on 35mm film, but 70mm offers by far, a much better image than HD-DVD does over standard DVDs. Simple basic math... Divide a 35mm frame into 720 x 480 units (pixels). 70mm film has 4 times the area of 35mm so that gives 2880 x 1920 units (pixels), much more than HD is presently offering!

Be very leary of any one who says they see a 'big difference' in DVD formats. Rather, be wise, check for yourself, that's the best and only way!

 
At January 14, 2006 12:03 AM, Blogger Zaranyzerak said...

Don't know why anonymous up there is so down on the new formats (or the old, for that matter - Laserdisc was the "videophile elite" format for over 10 years before DVD came along. And many of the cool features we enjoy today, such as running commentaries, digital surround sound, director's cuts, etc. were born on LD long before DVD became a buzzword as the "incredible new format coming soon!"), it's the nature of the industry.

And in general response to some of the other comments I've read here...

Technology evolves and changes. And it's not like HD is something that's just been dumped on an unsuspecting public, it's been in development for over a decade. The TV's first started going on sale what, 4 YEARS ago? It's ABOUT TIME we got a new format that will actually take advantage of what those televisions are capable of! Even the evening news in HD will look better than the most beuaitful SuperBit disc out there.

Higher resolution, higher bitrates, why would anyone NOT want that? The powers that be are certinaly pouring a lot into marketing, widescreen HD-ready TV's are fast becoming the new standard, the majority of new shows are being shot in HD, it's the way it's ALL going. There will come a time in the not-too-distant future when you won't even be able to buy a 4x3 non-HD tv anymore, that's the way the industry is GOING and there's no point whining about it now.

As for the formats of the future, between the two currently imminent formats my money is on Blu-Ray. For the simple fact that is offers far greater storage capacity over HD-DVD, opening up more possibilities for the format to spread beyond simply being a medium with which we can enjoy insanely high bitrate HD movies. I, for one, look forward to the day I can buy a Blur-Ray burner, a spindle of 100 50-gig Blu-Ray discs and consolidate my entire CD and DVD+R data disc collection onto a handful of discs.

I mean seriously, what is the BAD side of this new technology? I see none... And with HVD also looming in the horizon, it's only going to get better. Imagine and entire season of a show, in HD quality, on a SINGLE DISC. That's the kind of storage space we're talking about here. You could quite literally have 20 year's worth of television, in absolutely flawless quality, in a handy CD-binder.

To me, that's some pretty darn exciting news. And I, for one, welcome the new formats with open arms and say IT'S ABOUT TIME! DVD is cool and all, but it's only going to get better with the new formats. But I suppose this is the kind of reaction to be expected - change is scary. Hell, I waited until 2001 to buy my first DVD player (a PS2, no less!), at the time still clinging to the hope that Laserdisc (which I had invested a considerable number of years into, collecting many gems that still have yet to make their way to DVD) would make a miraculous comeback.

I fought the idea of change, slagging off DVD at every opportunity. But eventually I gave in, and I'm glad I did - season sets of a TV shows take FAR less space on DVD than they took on LD, and certainly less than the same number of episodes in a season would take up on SP-mode VHS. And with the new formats, the same number of episodes will take up even LESS space, with no compromise in quality.

So I say again, what's the DOWN side? Having to buy a new player? Having to buy a new TV? Well guess what - ALL players die eventually, ALL TV's burn out eventually, so you'd have to buy a new one ANYWAY, even if there were no new formats coming our way.

So get over it, folks, and embrace the future! It's where you and I will be spending the rest of our lives...

 
At January 16, 2006 9:18 PM, Blogger Need to release said...

I want the show BJ and The Bear and The Hardy boys/Nancy Drew mysteries to come out on DVD I've looked and looked and can not find them.I do have season 1 of the Hardyboys/nancy drew mysteries but that's it.Who do i email to give a little push for these DVD's

 
At August 02, 2006 7:50 AM, Blogger EBS said...

I would like to wait for the terabyte one, I think that's a real indicator and it would be nice to have entire series on one disc with bonuses :)

 
At October 02, 2006 2:09 AM, Blogger Eugene Esterly III said...

Well, personally, I'm staying with DVD's until there is a definite winner in the battle between Blu-Ray & HD-DVD.

 
At April 18, 2007 5:13 PM, Blogger Al McClymont said...

For old shows like Mary Tyler Moore or the Rockford Files, would there be any advantages (image-wise) in waiting for a HD-DVD or Blu-ray release?

 

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